Philosophy of Communication
Since the dawn of time, human beings (or there under-evolved ancestors) have established significant ways in which to communicate with one another. The impetus placed on finding effective methods for communication is due to the innate need to share ideas, warnings and developments with other people. As the human species evolved, it became increasingly important to be able to share these things as a protection from dangerous creatures or enemies, enhancing human development (the wheel and fire up to the iPod), and to induce a better knowledge of our fellow man as a whole. In the early days of human life, we communicated through crude cave drawings and grunts which gradually developed into language which, in turn, has evolved in order to accommodate the human development process. Communication allows us to interact and care for others whilst also voicing our own opinions, ideas, beliefs and fears – it is what sets us firmly apart from the other animals on our planet and it designates an intelligence which has enabled us to become the superior species.
In my own life, communication is something which allows me to be a successful wife and mother to my husband, my twenty-month old son and my two step-daughters aged eight and twelve respectively. These four people are the most important individuals in my life and because of their ages and interests, they require me to be able to communicate with them effectively whilst meeting their individual needs. For example, my husband is a businessman and he likes to discuss his working day with me – something I am keen to encourage also. However, his line of work requires me to be able to understand the various concepts he discusses – names, concepts and businesses which I would, in all likelihood, not be familiar with if it was not for my husband. He requires a mature and involved level of communication whereas my step-daughters are typical little girls with an interest in clothes, music and school. As a woman, I am able to talk to them about these things extensively and with ease but I have to remember my role as their step-mother which means communicating with them in just the right way: not too over-familiar so as to step on their mother’s toes whilst remembering that I am still a responsible adult in their lives and must guide them whilst they are growing up. My twenty-month old son is just beginning to speak – he can manage a couple of basic words and so my level of communication with him is extremely limited. However, I am keen to enhance his linguistic development and so I try to communicate with him in a reasonably mature way.
Ethically speaking, communication requires a degree of diplomacy and responsibility to convey meaning without causing offence. In your personal life, it is important to support your loved ones as I have displayed in the previous paragraph but in your professional life, depending on your role, you sometimes need to communicate harshly or softly depending on the result you desire. Communication ethics involve understanding who you are talking to and how to convey your meaning without compromising your morals and beliefs and/or without upsetting the other person: diplomacy, responsibility, empathy and articulation are all essential elements of ethical communication.